Anything tastes better when wrapped in the arms of an Asiago crisp, not the least of which is this simple spinach and raspberry salad.
Elegance has a new name…and it’s called Asiago crisps. Since first eating these at a dinner party with my husband’s company and then replicating them at home, I’ve come to realize anything tastes better when wrapped in the arms of an Asiago crisp, not the least of which is a simple spinach and raspberry salad.
The great thing is – making the Asiago crisps couldn’t be easier (see pictures below the recipe)! Shredded Asiago (or Parmesan might be a great substitute) is baked and molded and becomes the perfect vehicle for a simple but delicious spinach salad.
Obviously, I reserve salads such as this for more gourmet occasions than feeding my four lovable rugrats weeknight dinners, but when the occasion calls, you now know what you can do to step that salad course up a notch.
As a sidenote, although this complete salad package would be lost on my kiddos, they absolutely devoured the crispy Asiago pieces that were leftover (read: the ones I broke to smithereens on accident). We crunched them up over some buttered noodles for dinner one night and the kids were in heaven. How’s that for gourmet?
For the Asiago rounds, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Take 1/2 cup of shredded Asiago cheese and place it in a long strip, about 2-inches wide by 12-inches long, on a rimmed baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper or a silpat liner. I did two strips on each baking sheet.
Bake the cheese for 9-11 minutes until the cheese is browned and bubbly. The Asiago cheese has a tendency to splatter and smoke a little, so don’t be alarmed if that happens.
Immediately after removing the rimmed baking sheet from the oven, gently lift up the cheese strip and form it into a circle for the salad. Let the circle cool completely on the baking sheet or carefully transfer to a wire rack. The cheese cools very quickly so you’ll need to work fast to bend the hot cheese into circles before it cools too much. The Asiago crisps can be made a day in advance, if kept well covered (especially in a humid climate). Take care to move them around gently as they are fragile.
When ready to serve, gently fill the Asiago cheese round with fresh spinach leaves. Sprinkle with raspberries. Using a vegetable peeler, shave pieces from the block of Parmesan and add those to the salad. Serve with raspberry vinaigrette.
Cheese: you could probably sub freshly grated Parmesan cheese for the Asiago – haven’t tried it but I think it would work just fine as long as you keep an eye on baking time so the cheese browns perfectly.
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